Questions tagged [idioms]

Idioms are a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words. Use [idiom-requests] if you are searching for an idiom with a particular meaning.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
2answers
111 views

Meaning of “Mind mice at crossroads”

What does mean: She said her landlord was so mean that she would mind mice at crossroads ?
0
votes
4answers
76 views

Is there an idiom for saying something that might turn out wrong or making a wild prediction?

Example: I might be _______ but Brasil will win this world cup.
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Idiom similar to “if the shoe fits”

I'm looking for an idiom that describes when people get huffy and defensive about a topic even though it wasn't directed at them, similar to if the shoe fits. but not quite. A prominent example is ...
5
votes
2answers
646 views

What is the origin of “crash at someone’s place”?

I know it’s slang. But help me to find origin of crash at someone’s place
0
votes
0answers
55 views

cut/cut down when referring to price

"The supermarket cut the price." sounds correct to me. "The supermarket cut down the price." seems a bit redundant. Is my interpretation correct or are both acceptable?
15
votes
3answers
3k views

The meaning of “They know who they are”

I'm reading a programming book and in it it is said, of a subset of engineers, "Electrical engineers and systems designers who create computer motherboards and other hardware systems ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Idioms/expression that means something can bring great benefit if used correctly?

I was writing a conclusion and I'm in need of using an idiom with this meaning. I remember there is one (but might be confused with other language's idioms, if so pls correct me) but it seems to have ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

What is different? [the something of one's choice & the choice of one's something.]

I have read two links gotten some feedback from another forum. https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/the-something-of-your-choice https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

What is going on grammatically when we speak of a “happy day”? [duplicate]

Ordinarily in English, adjectives directly describe the noun being modified; thus an adjective indicating an emotion attributes that emotion to the noun - "I am happy" means that I am the ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the English idiom for Russian “режет глаз” which literally translated as “hurts the eye”?

What is the English idiom for Russian "режет глаз" which literally can be translated as "hurts the eye"? In Russian, it is used when there is something, a thing, which does not fit ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

What would be the word that is used to describe a person that uses dysphemisms a lot?

dys·phe·mism /ˈdisfəˌmizəm/ a derogatory or unpleasant term used instead of a pleasant or neutral one, such as “loony bin” for “mental hospital.”. (Lexico)
0
votes
2answers
332 views

Origin of “Around the clock” or “Round the clock”? [closed]

From a Google search it seems the origin is unidentifiable? Does anyone have any ideas on plausible origins?
2
votes
3answers
104 views

Give or Take - Which is Give and Which is Take

I was recently asked for a rough estimate on how long a small project will take. I figured it would be a couple weeks, most likely a bit less, but could also be a bit more depending on a few unknowns, ...
1
vote
5answers
115 views

What is the idiom or expression used to say that “what someone has done is nothing special”?

Something like praising someone ironically when they have messed up or they don't derserve it.
2
votes
1answer
285 views

Etymology of “walking around hot porridge” [closed]

Here's what the idiom means - To speak vaguely or euphemistically so as to avoid talking directly about an unpleasant or sensitive topic. TheFreeDictionary It seems to be the Czech equivalent of &...
-1
votes
1answer
42 views

Is there a word I can use to replace textual “finger quotes” instead of 'per se'?

When it comes to writing, I don't like to use the phrase per se, as it's hard to fit into what I'm trying to explain sometimes, but I don't like using quotes to mean per se (what I'm referring to as ...
5
votes
3answers
187 views

Where does 'po-faced' come from etymologically, geographically, and chronologically?

The entry for po-faced in Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) reads as follows: po-faced adj {perh. fr. po chamber pot, toilet, fr. F pot pot} (1934) Brit : having an assumed ...
1
vote
3answers
100 views

English equivalent of the Greek “When Muhammad does not go to the mountain…”?

In Greek, there is an expression which translates literally to When Muhammad does not go to the mountain, the mountain goes to Muhammad. The expression is used when the speaker believes that they ...
0
votes
4answers
124 views

difference between “have for dinner” and “have at dinner” [closed]

Which is the difference between: "I'm having an old friend for dinner" "I'm having an old friend at dinner" "Having anyone for dinner" means you're meeting someone, ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

What is the most idiomatic verb to use with ‘reading’?

In the following sentence, by ‘reading’ I mean ‘study’ or ‘research’. What is the best verb to use with it? I —————— an ecological reading of the Japanese literary tradition. Do, conduct, carry out, ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

Lose the thread [closed]

I just found out that the idiom “to lose the thread” exists in English. This surprised me a bit because I read a lot in English (both fiction and non-fiction, old and modern) but I've never ...
0
votes
3answers
54 views

Other ways of saying “set up shop”?

I'm looking for different ways of saying "set up shop" in the sense of "to stay unwanted in a location for a prolonged period of time", "to occupy or takeover a space [in a ...
-1
votes
1answer
105 views

What does the idiom ‘I don’t want to be the Babylonian messenger‘ mean?

Is it related to the idiom ‘don’t shoot the messenger’?
-1
votes
1answer
32 views

Is “Looks like it will take a while. Can we use the opportunity to escape?” idiomatic english?

Is "Looks like it will take a while. Can we use the opportunity to escape?" idiomatic english? The context is this dialogue in a fan fiction screenplay (open web / CC-by-nc-sa / XHTML5 / ...
4
votes
2answers
56 views

An unpunished offence is bound to be repeated

What I'm trying to say is, "when there's no consequences for bad behavior, this behavior will continue and get worse." Is there an idiom or a phrase to express this meaning more eloquently? ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

“Babylon has been shouted” reference meaning

I'm reading this Saunders story: https://hungermtn.org/a-lack-of-order-in-the-floating-object-room/ and trying to understand what "Babylon has been shouted" is a reference to. Why Babylon? ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

How to use an idiom in a paper?

I am writing a short reflection and I'm describing a situation where I am joking around with someone. What I mean by "joking around" is playfully teasing. Would I just write, "I joked ...
2
votes
2answers
50 views

Word or phrase for something that turns out great but wasn't intended as such

I'm translating a German press release about a product that became a great tool/solution, but it had never been intended to be developed like that in the first place. It more or less happened by ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

A word for a fallen tree with roots exposed

I'm looking for a single word or an idiom for a fallen tree with roots exposed, or a cavity formed between the roots of a fallen tree and the soil. Preferably an uncommon poetic/dialect word
1
vote
1answer
74 views

What does the word 'operator' mean in here?

What does the word 'operators' mean in here? Does it actually mean technical operator or is it an idiom of some sort? I noticed a connection between the barn-burning section of The Moon and ...
0
votes
2answers
148 views

“Throw it on the pile” - where did this idiom come from?

("throw it in the pile" or "just throw it on the pile" are also acceptable variants) I have seen this expression being used a lot. Based on context and intuition, I figured it has ...
6
votes
2answers
148 views

When was ad hoc introduced in English?

When was ad hoc introduced in English? I found this, but it is only a vague speculation. Originally, ad hoc is a Latin phrase, and it is speculated that the term was first used in English in the mid-...
1
vote
2answers
38 views

What does “my flesh begins crawling with suspense” mean? [closed]

The phrase was come upon in the following context: Show me a character whose life arouses my curiosity, and my flesh begins crawling with suspense. By Fawn M. Brodie (italics added)
0
votes
0answers
14 views

In this particular case, can I omit the “but” in a “Not only … also” sentence construction?

I've looked at several threads about this, but I can't really get a feel for whether or not this sentence in particular is correct: Not only is it important for us to protect our own data, we also ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Exemplification of 'being not idiomatic'

apple: a round fruit with firm, white flesh and a green, red, or yellow skin. If I use 'apple' as 'a round fruit with firm, white animal flesh and a green, red, or yellow animal skin,' is it ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

A very, very specific idiom for a type of sloppy victory

For context, I first heard this idiom used some months ago in my workplace which deals with cinema and storytelling, so there's a chance it might be a trope and not a colloquial idiom or similar. The ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Is “set some time on the side” a common phrase?

I was convinced set some time on the side was a correct, fairly common expression. However, I am now in doubt because I can't find it via Google phrase match search. Is it idiomatic English? For ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

Is there an idiom or expression to say “when something is beyond your understanding, you think very little of it”?

For example: A: Your taste in movies sucks, Jared. B: ... (that idiom/expression) Maybe something like "you can't expect a ... to appreciate the greatness of a ..."
1
vote
4answers
66 views

Single word (Preferably) for phenomenon when two persons who are at not good terms with each other and involve third person to correspond between them [duplicate]

What is it called (Preferably single word) for phenomenon that is taking place when three parties are involved such that first two persons (Group of people, party or Departments, etc) are at not good ...
0
votes
0answers
58 views

What is the best idiomatic phrase for 'This is not going to happen'? [closed]

English is not my first language, but I do communicate a lot in non formal setting with UK born and bred very nice people. From where I come there a plenty of ways to say "This is not going to ...
6
votes
1answer
418 views

Where does the expression “to sell your soul to the devil” originate

I understand this is an idiomatic English expression. The expression suggests some sort of pact is made by humans in order to receive diabolical favours. There is a song entitled "The Devil came ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Expressions like “They may be a-holes, but they are our a-holes”

I remember coming across a line "They may be a-holes, but they are our a-holes." It's used to describe something you don't like, but also don't want others to take away. One example is big ...
-1
votes
1answer
33 views

Questions on the usage of 'cut against' based on Moby Dick

I found difficulty understanding the following line from Moby Dick, Ch.48. As for Fedallah, who was seen pulling the harpooneer oar, he had thrown aside his black jacket, and displayed his naked ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

Is there a difference between the phrase “a night out” and “a day out”?

I've been working on a book about Idioms & Phrasal verbs. As I was working, I came across the following definition for the phrase a night out: An evening you spend out of the house enjoying ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

What does “to be Latin” mean?

I’m reading a mystery novel which was published in the 1930s, and a character describes another character who had threatened to kill her as “Latin” (with a capital L). What does this mean? Google ...
0
votes
2answers
173 views

What word means “pretend to know something to extract information”?

Is there any phrase or expression that can be used to indicate that someone who does not actually know something (about someone else) is trying to pretend as if they knew it (or talking in such a way ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

What does it mean by “looking for beans and cheap thrills”?

I am currently translating a subtitle where this kid said something about creating a bunker to defend himself from mutant biker gang who sack each city looking "for beans and cheap thrills". ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

I'm looking for idiom(s) which depicts 'someone is desperately searching for something good out of obvious disaster'

Something like, someone is trying hard to justify something evil.
0
votes
0answers
64 views

What to say when someone's answer is not related to our question or at least we think it's not? [duplicate]

I would say: "How's that related to my question ?" Please answer for both formal and informal cases
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it fine answering “I hope it's nothing.” instead “I hope it's nothing serious.”?

Is there any misunderstanding at Sam's answer? Isn't it infered that Sam means "nothing serious"? Jenny: "I have to leave the office and go back home at once – something's happened&...

1
2
3 4 5
82